Italian pizzas, German cars, Swedish furniture, French cuisine, Swiss chocolate, Belgian beers, Dutch cheeses, Norwegian salmon, Irish rock bands, British detectives...
Spain's beaches, Scotland's lochs,
Austria's ski slopes, Croatia's coastline, Norway's fjords, Finland's saunas & Hungary's baths...
Wimbledon, Champions League,
Tour de France, Eurovision,
Six Nations rugby, Europe's festivals...
art & music,
rivers & lakes, mountains
& values of equality, freedom, dignity, rule of law
& human rights...
We benefit from
high-speed trains, motorway system, air travel network
& open borders...
Too often we take this for granted. Sometimes we are tempted to choose for 'me first', 'my country first'.
But we are better people
when we consider others first
and better nations
when we pursue the common good.
So why not a day to celebrate our connectedness?
A day to savour the richness of our region in history, culture and scenery?
A day to reflect gratefully about belonging to the European family?
Actually, there is already such a day!
That’s a long story.
It’s the day when, in 1950, a Frenchman named Robert Schuman proposed that Europe would be a better place if nations would work together for the good of the whole.
He called this ‘the spirit of Europe’.
Europe, he proposed, should become a community of peoples united in values of equality, freedom, solidarity and peace.
His proposal kicked off the European Union as we know it today.
Which is why May 9 has been officially declared ‘Europe Day’ (still a best-kept secret in some countries).
But the extended family of European peoples embraces all of Europe.
Today our lives are connected in 1001 different ways, despite our national distinctions and even today’s nationalistic movements.
We’ve become irreversibly interdependent and connected,
enriched through our diversity.
There are 1001 possibilities.
Here are some to get you started.
As we’re celebrating connectedness, its best done with others!
Invite your friends to discuss how you want to celebrate May 9.
Set up a wine and cheese evening, coordinating friends to bring products from different European countries. Discuss: What top three places do you want to visit in Europe? Why? What are your favourite cheeses? From where?